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Steven and Elyse Keaton were two hippies with liberal viewpoints who married during the 1960s. The young couple had hoped their children would adopt the same values. How wrong they were, especially in the case of oldest son Alex. "Family Ties," which was based in Columbus, Ohio, explored the relationship between Steven (a public television station manager), Elyse (an architect) and their three children, Alex, Mallory and Jennifer. Alex was an avid Reagan devotee and card-carrying Young Republicans Club member who sauntered through the house in a shirt and tie and hung a picture of William F. Buckley over his bed. But as intelligent and over-achieving as Alex was, Mallory was as underachieving and, to say the least, a slacker; she was more concerned with shopping and cute guys. Jennifer was the precocious youngster who just wanted to be a normal kid. Skippy Handleman, one of Alex's best friends, was a geeky next-door neighbor with an unrequited crush on Mallory. During the 1984-1985 ... Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Hilarious family sitcom with unusual generation gap
I love this hilarious sitcom and catch it on re runs whenever I chance upon it. I think it is one of the funniest family comedy series ever, with some entertaining and unusual character portrayals.
The series revolves around the Keaton family, with liberal parents Steven (a TV station manager) and Elyse (an architect). The couple have three children...a financially savvy, politically conservative son Alex, his shopaholic teenage sister Mallory, and a younger tomboy sister, Jennifer. Later Elyse gives birth to a fourth child, baby Andrew. Along the way, Alex develops love interests, first in the form of Ellen (played by the actor's future wife, Tracy Pollan) and later, Lauren, a psychology major. Mallory acquires a boyfriend herself, the motorcycle riding high school drop out, Nick, who incurs the disapproval of her parents and of course especially brother Alex.
The acting is stellar with Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross portraying the parents and Tina Yothers the kid sister, Jennifer. However, it is really Michael J. Fox's show with his hilarious depiction of Alex P. Keaton, who has a tendency to wear shirt & tie everyday around the house and introduces little brother Andrew to the Wall Street Journal while he's still in diapers! My personal favourite is Mallory (charmingly played by Justine Bateman); she is so amusing and endearing as his dim witted, academically slack, clothes obsessed sister who cannot get enough of the mall and talking about cute boys. Of course her contrast with the smart, serious, & focused Alex could hardly be greater.
It's a reverse generational tale to the expected. Normally the parents are the conservative ones, with the teenage offspring liberal rebels and rabble rousers. However, the Keaton parents are the left wing family members, former political activists back in their college heyday. Son Alex, on the other hand, is a die-hard and very vocal card carrying Republican who eventually finds his niche on Wall Street. The sparring between Alex and his parents (as well as with Mallory) makes for some wonderful comedy in this warm hearted family sitcom.
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